Blog: Mixed bag in August
Leonie Barrie | 10 September 2007
Delayed back-to-school spending sprees hit US retailers hard in July, so it was a relief to many that preparations for the new academic year gave a boost to August same-store sales growth and overshadowed other worries like the struggling housing market, tightening credit and rising gas prices.
According to TNS Retail Forward’s August ShopperScape survey, August same-store sales growth was 3.0% ahead of the prior month, and shoppers expected to spend an average $571 on their back-to-school purchases. That said, August sales were down 3.9% on the same month last year when the back-to-school estimate was $596. Furthermore, 67% of planned back-to-school spending is now thought to be complete.
So while education offered some respite to apparel chains and department stores last month, it’s likely this was just a blip in a longer-term trend.
“Shoppers were not spooked like stock market investors by fears of a credit crunch. But that only means that the fallout for households will hit home more gradually in the coming months,” said Frank Badillo, senior economist and director of the Retail Forward KnowledgeBase. And there’s more bad news for September, when retailers will be up against some difficult September year-ago comparisons.
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